Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thanks Oprah!

Here at the chicken blog, there's only one thing we love as much as chicken. And that's a good deal!

Turns out Ms. Oprah Winfrey took it upon herself to help us out! And not just Elio and me, but you guys too! Just go to Oprah.com/kfc and it will show you where you can download the coupon.

She's provided (I can only assume by buying one for EVERYONE) a free two piece grilled chicken meal from Kentucky Fried Chicken!

Check this out, you get:
2 pieces of grilled chicken
2 sides of YOUR choosing

Sounds like a sweet deal to me! Go take advantage of it, chickenheads! Be patient though, I think those internet servermajigs are getting hit hard by everyone taking advantage of Oprah's generosity!

If you DO take advantage of this, let us know how it went!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No Review! But something new!

Sorry for the lack of updates chicken-faithful, I was out of town for a week and could not meet with Elio for any hard-hitting chicken reviews! On top of that, I'm down with a fever! I couldn't even finish the usually delicious and warm Portillo's chicken sandwich I had for lunch yesterday. It would be unfair to these fine establishments and to you folks for me to review in such a condition.

But until then, maybe you'd like a chicken history lesson?

It's part of a new segment we're trying out called "ASK DR. CLUCKEN!" where we'll try and shed some light on different aspects of chicken culture, history, styles, and other interesting morsels of information. If any of you chickenheads out there have any questions about chicken for Dr. Clucken, just leave them in the comments, and he might even answer them in a future lesson!

Now, without further ado...

Ask Dr. Clucken!

Dear Dr. Clucken,

Hi there! I live in Schaumburg and run a chicken review blog with my chicken-tasting compadre. I was wondering, could explain why there's SO many different ways for chicken to look when it's all fried up and on your plate?

Please answer soon!


Dear Fry-Curious,

I'm glad you asked such a tasty question! You see, the reason there are so many different LOOKS for fried chicken is simply because there are so many RECIPES for fried chicken! Not to mention three different cooking methods. The first is pressure frying, which was made popular by a certain famous Colonel, and valued for being able to cook faster at a lower temperature, and maintain the moistness of the meat. But even I don't know what his 11 herbs and spices are!

There's also traditional pan-frying, and most people prepare this breading by shaking the chicken in a paper bag filled with flour and spices (Shake and Bake, anyone?). Pan frying takes much longer than the other methods, some restaurants even have disclaimers stating that pan fried chicken dishes should expect to wait a minimum of 15 minutes to be served!

Then of course there's the good ole' deep fryer. Most fast-food places fry up frozen, pre-cooked chicken this way, or with a pressure cooker. Though at places like Chili's and the Village Tavern & Grill, the chicken is most likely battered and deep fried right on the premises, which gives it a crispier, smoother look! Not to mention a tasty moist inside.

I hope that answers your question! If anyone else has anything they'd like to know about chicken, all you have to do is...


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Giving the Village a Voice!

You won't believe how excited I was to go to the Village Tavern and Grille! A classmate told me that these would be the greatest chicken fingers I had ever tasted. So of course I was eager to investigate for myself! We rolled all the way to the far end of Schaumburg, but there it was, a stout little building with "Chi-rish" decorations in the windows, a big coat of arms above the door, and plastic ninjas in those little 25 cent machines!

So far, so great!

We were seated immediately, I liked our waitress's eye make-up! The tables were roomy and the service was pretty quick. I ordered the appetizer version of their world famous chicken strips and I'm sure glad I did. That platter looked monstrous! If there's one negative thing I have to say about the Village is that the portions were enormous! I'm all for getting some bang for your buck, but my tummy is an account with a maximum deposit amount!

Now of course, to the chicken itself! Six swollen batter-fried strips which I quickly accompanied with a load of tangy ketchup! And how could I avoid trying the secret honey mustard recipe? And let me tell you, it's the sauce that makes these babies. Alone, these strips were warm and moist, sure. But they lacked something so small that I can't even put it into words. That certain something, if you will. Normally I'm a ketchup only man; if honey mustard even touches my strips there's gonna be a crisis! This honey mustard was in a league of it's own, I loved it! So as a picky person to any of you other picky strip lovers, definitely opt for the honey mustard on these!

While I am afraid I can't say that they're the best chicken strips EVER, they're certainly no slouches! Check out the Village Tavern and Grille, and I hope your waitress has pretty eyes too!

Cheers to the "Village Tavern & Grill".

Village Tavern & Grill
901 W Wise Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60193
(847) 891-8866

As we embark on our hunt to find chicken finger excellence, we received word from a local tipster to head towards Schaumburg’s Village Tavern and Grill. The promise of discovering "the best chicken fingers in town" was too hard to ignore. We had to investigate this speculation.

The Village is a celebrated suburban establishment. Dimly lit and cozy. The walls slathered with polaroids and treasured memorabilia of Schaumburg pride and heritage (I guess there is more then Woodfield mall after all!). Typically a family friendly restaurant, we had the opportunity to eat with the hungry lunch crowd. Boisterous business men at the bar, sipping on Budweiser’s and tapping on their PDAs. Quickly glancing at the many flat screen televisions, glowing with ESPN’s march madness coverage.

We noticed the four paged menu was covered in chicken finger items, offerings, and deals. It was no secret, the Village was proud. We knew we were in the right place. Orders were shouted, and we bounced in our seats with anticipation.

A short fifteen minutes later, our twenty’s something waitress carried over a championship sized plate with six chubby bronze superstars and a side of fries.

These were serious chicken fingers, absolutely delicious. Sweating with oil, the golden batter was bubbly, very sweet and packed a crunch. The breading on the inside, rich and creamy. The chicken, velvety and soft. You could cut the white meat with a spoon! A very hardy and attractive chicken finger all around. Enjoy them with the Village’s “top secret mustard sauce”. I usually shy away from unknown sauces, but this pale yellow dip was an absolute delight. A mild sweet mustard that came in a pool sized cup. I had my fingers doing butterfly strokes in no time!

Even after splitting my plate with friends, these chicken fingers had me waddling out of the restaurant with a satisfied smile. Schaumburg’s Village Tavern and Grill have quite the compliment on their hands. The rumors were true. These were mighty tasty fingers, and not to be missed. I’m proud to say I had a chance to enjoy them. The Village will see me again shortly!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

EMERGENCY BLOG! Woodfield Arby's

F208 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL.

Hey guys! Bringing you an extra update this week because I just COULDN'T WAIT till Thursday!

Let me start by saying that this was not the norm for this particular location. Normally I eat at Arby's and it's great! But today was just no good!

That's right, even when I'm not on the job I'm eating chicken to get great ideas for your reading pleasure! Arby's is another restaurant that stings me a little bit. Not more than a few years ago they used to have a de-lish chicken finger meal. Went great with curly fries and ketchup! But recently the Arby's in this area started only selling popcorn chicken. That's all I could get that didn't have a bun on it! They're normally adequate finger replacements, little chicken chunks that are warm and tasty. So imagine my disappointment when I pop open my container, and I can't even pull apart a little chicken chunk!

That's right, tough chicken. I bit threw them okay though, years of enjoying chicken have crafted my jaw into a perfect chomping machine! The taste was okay, but they were so dry I was practically chugging my drink! Then, something sticks me in the mouth. There's something I just. can't. chomp. So I pull it out of my mouth and wipe it off on the napkin. And of all things, a BONE! A tiny sticker of a bone! That was just too much!

Sorry Woodfield Arby's. You're usually so good to me, but...now I feel betrayed.

Don't worry, I'll give you another chance sometime. :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Kentucky Fried Chicken Pt. II

The colonel's famous chicken has always been a favorite of mine, and that's part of the reason that we decided to embark on our first chicken review adventure within the walls of our local Kentucky Fried Chicken!

Now I've got some beef with the Colonel as of late. We've been such good friends for years, the colonel's crispy strips were some of my favorite chicken fingers! But now the crispy strip has gone the way of the Dodo, leaving only the original recipe strips. It's not that the original recipe is TERRIBLE. But it certainly doesn't pack the same crunchy goodness I'd come to expect.

If you miss the old ways as much as I do, then there's still hope! You can always get crispy recipe chicken legs and wings, or the sensational popcorn chicken! They've served as an adequate patch over the hole in my heart that was left by crispy strips. Warm and crunchy and served with just enough of a delay on my order to let me know that they actually took time to cook it.

They're a little bland taste-wise, so ketchup is a must with these babies. And don't expect to feel full up on these guys, grab some biscuits and a drink to go with it or you're gonna be rumbling in your tummy a few hours sooner than you had planned! We've been through a lot, KFC, and we've seen better days, but you're still decent in my book!

Kentucky Fried Review!

Kentucky Fried Chicken

1030 N Roselle Rd. Schaumburg, IL.

How excited was I to order a trendy chicken wrap, one of my favorite creations in the new fast food world. If anyone could devise a chicken wrap masterpiece, I knew the great American hero and entrepreneur, Mr. Colonel Sanders and his mighty Kentucky Fried Chicken empire could deliver! Sadly, a moment after unwrapping my little warm convenient treat, I was more disappointed than getting socks on my birthday.

Haphazardly, the wrap was a mess. The employee putting my lunch together had the enthusiasm of a Monday morning college student. Shame on me for expecting more presentation. Was he even trying to aim with the lettuce? I’ll keep my complaint short, I did receive my order by the time I got my receipt and a couple of sweaty pennies thrown at me.

The biggest disappointment came in the size of the actual wrap, completely underwhelming. What happened to the glory days of “Super size me” fast food America? Was the Colonel cutting back for the good of us? The patriot inside me demanded more bang for my buck! The chicken was tiny, almost an afterthought. Could fit comfortably in the palm of my hand (South beach diet anyone?). Other chicken wraps made by rival competitors are usually much bigger. Think of pro football players vs. the chess team.

I will mention the plus side, because I guess good things can come in small packages. The wrap mildly had a welcomed spice. One of Mr. Sanders secrets herbs or spices? Turned out to be a thin coating of lively “Pepper mayo”. If the wrap was going to be small, it did have an enjoyable peppery kick. Like your favorite grandpa!

This wrap could of have been great, it had much potential. If you're looking for a light snack, this isn’t a terrible choice, but I believe chicken wraps need to come bigger, better, and stronger. I have a feeling that’s the way Mr. Sanders would of wanted it. Maybe somewhere, out there, one of the thousands of KFC restaurants is doing it right, just not this one.